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Rank the D&D 3.5 classes!

greymarch

First Post
Post your rankings for the D&D 3.5 classes here. These rankings should be based on how powerful you think each class is relative to each other, and relative to the monsters and NPCs you might fight in your campaigns. DO NOT post your list based upon which classes you like to play the most, or which ones you think are the "most cool." Simply list the classes based upon raw power.

Here is my list:

1. Wizard - was #1 in 1st edition D&D, was #1 in 2nd edition D&D, was #1 in Third Edition D&D, and is still #1 in D&D 3.5

2. Cleric - they have some amazing spells on their spell lists. Anyone read Holy Word yet in D&D 3.5? Thats just a sample of their wonderful spells. D8 hit points, ability to cast spells in heavy armor, ability to turn undead. Clerics rock in D&D 3.5.

3. Sorcerer - the inability to use quickened spells effectively keeps
them out of the top 2.

4. Fighter - all those feats! If you own all of the splat books, and Forgotten Realms books, you can take some serious feats, and do some serious damage with a fighter.

5. Ranger - In 1st edition D&D, rangers were one of the best classes in the game. In 2nd edition, rangers stunk up the joint. In 3rd edition D&D rangers still stunk up the joint. Now in D&D 3.5, rangers kick butt again. Giving rangers evasion, and three bonus feats for dual-wielding makes them a wonderful class. Their spell list improved dramatically too. Cat's Grace, Bear's Endurance, Owl's Wisdom. Hello??? This is good stuff people.

6. Barbarians - D12 hit dice, Uncanny dodge, rage, and better damage reduction really makes a barbarian shine.

7. Paladins - they get to smite more often in D&D 3.5. I havent found any significant nerfs to them yet. They are still a good class, especially if you have a high charisma. Getting that charisma ability modifier to saving throws is invaluable!

8. Monks - monks still suffer from the same problem they had in 3rd edition...they cant hit anyone! They added amulet of mighty fists to the DMG, and that should help with their to hit rolls, but other melee classes will have weapons with the same modifiers at the same levels, so a monk will never catch up to the other melee classes when it comes to how often they hit.

9. Rogue - Rogues got nerfed a little in D&D 3.5, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. It takes a little longer to get some of their good abilities, but they still get them. In the gaming groups I have been a part of, the DMs like to use lots of undead, constructs, and elementals, so rogues dont get to use their sneak attack very often. If your DM uses lots of NPCs, then you might want to move rogue higher up your list.

10. Druids - IMO, the key to playing a druid in D&D 3.5 is to completely understand and manipulate the animal companion rules, and to use wildshape to your advantage. Unfortunately, I think both of these abilities stink, so unless you have a very open-minded DM, a druid is a lousy class. Their spell list is not as good as a cleric or wizard, their pets will never be quite powerful enough to make a big difference, and their wildshape ability has too many limitations.

11. Bard - bards blew chunks in 3rd edition D&D, and they still blow chunks in D&D 3.5. Bards really are more of a roleplaying class. They have a few decent defensive spells on their spell list, but power-wise, they are at the bottom of the list.

Remember, these are just my opinions. Proving or disproving any of the above statements can be difficult, yet rewarding. So...lets see your lists! :)
 

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PA

First Post
Wizards better than Clerics?? Uh, OK. Let's see... A Cleric has:

1) Better HD.
2) Better BAB.
3) Better saves.

As far as spellcasting is concerned:

1) They've got the single best spell: Miracle.
2) They can cast in armor.
3) They can cast more spells per day than a non-specialist wizard.
4) They don't need to rest for 8 hours before preparing their spells.
5) They can cast Cure spells spontaneously.
6) They know their whole list of spells, which means that they usually know more spells than a wizard, even though the latter's list is bigger (you need to find the spells, and scribing them is costly, even if less so in 3.5 than in 3.0).

As far as special abilities is concerned, it is "feats + familiar" vs. "turning + domain powers".
 


Kyramus

First Post
Monks can't hit anyone?

Let's see at 4th level, they are the only class that I can see that can hit a creature that needs a magical weapon to hit. See Ki Strike (Magic)

At level 10th, it's lawful
level 16th, it's adamantine

Have a fellow cleric and he can have ki strike lawful,evil,good,chaos
And have a mithril weapon and a cold iron weapon and he's set for all the DR creatures.
 

MarauderX

First Post
PA said:
Wizards better than Clerics?? Uh, OK. Let's see... A Cleric has:

1) Better HD.
2) Better BAB.
3) Better saves.

As far as spellcasting is concerned:

1) They've got the single best spell: Miracle.
2) They can cast in armor.
3) They can cast more spells per day than a non-specialist wizard.
4) They don't need to rest for 8 hours before preparing their spells.
5) They can cast Cure spells spontaneously.
6) They know their whole list of spells, which means that they usually know more spells than a wizard, even though the latter's list is bigger (you need to find the spells, and scribing them is costly, even if less so in 3.5 than in 3.0).

As far as special abilities is concerned, it is "feats + familiar" vs. "turning + domain powers".

Yeah, I am a wizard fanatic and I agree to everything on the list you are saying. Not that I like it the way it is, but here is how I see them ranked:

1. Cleric
2. Fighter, Paladin, Barbarian
3. Rogue, Monk
4. Wizard, Sorcerer
5. Bard
6. Aristocrat, Warrior, Town Drunk, everyone else
7. Druid, Ranger

Monks are finally a bit better with 3.5, and with Unarmed attack bonuses PLUS BAB to hit, they shouldn't have any problem. They aren't tough front-line guys, but better than they used to be, enough to keep up with the Rogues anyway.
Still don't see Druids or Rangers adding up to much with 3.5, as they are worse support fighters & casters than Bards IMO.
 
Last edited:

Belphanior

First Post
1: Cleric
Unstoppable. They can heal, they can destroy, they can wear armor, they can fight better than fighters. While some Sultan of Smack might be able to out-perform him in any given area (but I doubt it), nobody can match the sum of the parts.

2: Wizard
Spells, spells, spells. With these, you can do anything. The only thing that keeps him from greatness is the lack of armor, HP, and healing.

3: Rogues
Rogues got nerfed in 3.5? No they didn't. You just have to wait 2 more levels, but you're still the man of many skills. And his skills are none of the wimpy "all knowledge" kind, but the useful stuff. (Use magic device anybody?)
Oh, and sneak attacks can still lay down just about anything.

4: Druid
aka "I can't believe it's not a cleric!"
Wildshape is easy to break if you care to do it, nice instant damage spells, healing, and respectable skills.

5: Barbarian
Now that the rangers got fixed, we're looking at the new one-level wonder. Who doesn't like rage?
Plus, their DR got a bit better, and they've still got the same HD as dragons. For pure destruction, look no further.

6: Fighter
Did anybody say destruction? The fighter can pull off all those sickening combos you've always wanted with his feats.
Problem: there will be a time you've got enough feats and you'll want to multiclass. Talk about luxury problems!

7: Ranger
Stealth, good skills, nice attacks, and his spells are just icing on the cake. The 3.5 ranger may just be the best ranger I've ever seen. His new favored enemy that does respectable damage, works at any range, and works against undead (and such) is a pleasant surprise.
Situational though. Take him out of his environment and he suffers a bit.

8: Paladin
While this class is actually pretty strong, there's a point where multiclassing is just too good an option. Even with the extra smites. There are feats for that as well. Taking those extra levels of fighter is still the better option.

9: Sorceror
Now that Haste no longer allows you to cast an extra spell, sorcerors have it rough. Sure, you can cast fireball 100 times a day. Too bad the wizards can Quicken theirs and blow you out of the water before you can make good use of yours. Even with spellswapping, sorcerors have become too restricted to compare to other classes.

10: Monk
The poor monk just doesn't have the attacks to properly dish it out. His schtick is his many special abilities, but aren't the spellcasters much better at that?
You can turn him into a horrific grappler though, and that's always a plus.

11: Bard
Don't get me wrong, the bard class is not truly weak. The rest is just stronger.
Bards only perform well in a supporting role, but they perform admirably at it. Still, giving support is not a sign of strength or power in my eyes, so the glory goes to all those other classes which he supports.
Excellent power in diplomatic situations though, but I've found that a well-timed Dominate Monster also does the trick.
 


mmu1

First Post
1. Clerics... Although it's a bit of a stretch, since they certainly aren't more powerful as casters than Wizards, and only fight better than a Fighter if they waste half of their 2nd-4th level spells buffing themselves - and even then, they can only do it for a few minutes at a time.

2. Wizards. High versatility, great spellcasting power, extremely low ability requirements, bonus metamagic feats.

3. Fighters. Assuming standard ability scores, they're still by far the most effective of the "warrior" classes.

4. Rogues. Very good in combat or the standard dungeon, while at the same time excellent in any game with an emphasis on social interaction and role-playing. Amazing for multi-classing.

5. Barbarians. Almost better than a Fighter when played intelligently, great when mixed with Rogue.

6. Druids. Weapon restrictions are gone, so they can finally be made to hold their own in combat, they have a much better selection of damaging spells than the Cleric, and anyone who thinks 3.5 animal companions are too weak hasn't seen them in action. The only way they come off as weak if you insist on playing them as a party medic.

7. Paladins. Good special abilities, but they still need too many high ability scores to really be effective. Special Mounts still suck.

8. Sorcerers. Still much too limited, they're inferior in nearly every way to a specialist Wizard.

9. Bards. The 3.5 version is actually a solid class, but D&D still doesn't reward the "Jack of All Trades".

10. Monks. A class that can't even properly be called a "Jack of All Trades" since while they are spread very thin, their abilities are all purely defensive or combat oriented, with no versatility to speak of - and they are practically unplayable with standard ability scores. A class purely for when you luck out and roll a 40-point characters.

11. Rangers. To me it feels like they've been pretty much made into a slightly tougher Rogue without the versatility, special abilities, and Sneak Attack. Their armor restrictions and virtual feat trees make them just about the least customizeable class in the game.
 

Valiantheart

First Post
1. Cleric
The party monster. Can do virtually everything all the other classes can do and better at times. Nearly as many offensive spells as a wizard and can heal himself instantly.

2. Wizard
Spells and mass destruction. Limited spells and hit points keep them out of the same league as the cleric.

3. Rogue
Versatility personified. Can do more things that just about any character and is probably the best multiclass friendly class around.

4. Barbarian
Nobody can dish the damage and take the punishment like a the Barb. Only downside is.....wait there arent any. Will absolutely cream a melee fighter unless they get lucky.

5. Ranger
Without a doubt the best Ranger version I have ever seen. Fighting a dual wielding Ranger who has taken your race as their main FE since level 1 is absolute suicide. FE damage to Undead was a no brainer but really changes the whole special ability.

6. Paladin
The extra smites per day really makes this a class to be reckoned with. Not to sure what i think about the Poke-Mount though.

7. Druid
Has more direct damaging spells. The feat to cast spells in animal form is in the PHB. Instant Nature's Ally.

8. Monk
Still good at what he does....kill mages. A Monk grappling can tear you to pieces.

9. Fighter
Needs some high level feats critically. Starts out great but winds up the weakest class in the game when his feats no longer have much impact.

10. Bard
Stunk in 3.0 and still stinks in 3.5. They give him more spells and light armor casting and then remove a bunch of good spells from their spell list. Huh?

11. Sorcerer
So how long do I have to stay in this class before I take a PrC Mr. DM? You mean all I give up is Familiar advancement? *Gasp* Thats gonna be a costly hit.
 


the Jester

Legend
1 Cleric
2 Fighter
3 Wizard
4 Druid
5 Barbarian
6 Ranger
7 Sorcerer
8 Rogue
9 Paladin
10 Monk
11 Bard... because he's a supporting character, not the greatest at anything but good at everything.
 

Olive

Explorer
MarauderX said:
Still don't see Druids or Rangers adding up to much with 3.5, as they are worse support fighters & casters than Bards IMO.

How can the ranger, with bigger HD, better BaB and more combat related feats be a worse fighter than the bard? :confused:
 

PA

First Post
the Jester said:
11 Bard... because he's a supporting character, not the greatest at anything but good at everything.

Too bad the Cleric is also better at supporting other classes.
 



Dougal DeKree

First Post
greymarch said:
...5. Ranger - In 1st edition D&D, rangers were one of the best classes in the game...

Sorry to hijack here, but i read this just one too many times now.

In first Edition D&D there were fighter, thief, cleric, wizard, elf, dwarf and halfling. That's it. Don't see a ranger there.

Dougal.

P.S.: oh, as for the list:

1) Cleric
2) Wizard
3) Fighter
4) Druid
5) Sorcerer
6) Rogue
7) Barbarian
8) Paladin
9) Ranger
10) Monk
11) Bard
 

Brekki

First Post
Have been playing 3.5 for a few weeks now.

1) Cleric ... the most combat-boost-able-character with impressive defensive and offensive spells
2) Druid ... great 24 hour campaigner with lots of out of combat versatility and incombat boosting
3) Wizard ... all that very nice spells :)
4) Barbarian ... there's a reason that lots of combat-characters take at least 1 lvl of this class ... with the better rage and DR very nice
5) Rogue ... great versatility in combat and the ability to use near every item available
6) Fighter ... feats can only do so much

No Bards/Monks/Paladins/Rangers in the party so far.
 

mooby

First Post
Re: Re: Rank the D&D 3.5 classes!

Dougal DeKree said:


Sorry to hijack here, but i read this just one too many times now.

In first Edition D&D there were fighter, thief, cleric, wizard, elf, dwarf and halfling. That's it. Don't see a ranger there.

I think you can assume the person was talking about AD&D 1e (where the ranger was by far the most powerful character class).

anyway, I think 3.5 did a decent job at balancing the classes out a lot more.

that being said, here's my list:

1)Barbarian
2)Cleric
3)Wizard
4)Paladin
5)Ranger
6)Sorcerer
7)Druid
8)Monk
9)Rogue
10)Fighter
11)Bard
 

Kerrwyn

First Post
1. Clerics. For all the reasons that everyone else already said.
2. Fighters. Bonus feats means that you can sculpt your fighter into something completely different than your gaming partner's fighter.
3. Rangers. All their new abilities are nasty. Camouflage, Hide in Plain Sight, Evasion. The epitome of the mobile front-liner.
4. Sorcerers. Even with Haste shafted, I still like the fact that they don't have to prepare anything. Simple weapon proficiency doesn't hurt either.
5. Paladins. Summoning warhorses not withstanding, Paladins are one of the best characters against the evil that is prevalent in so many campaigns.
6. Wizards. Never really dug the buggers, but wizards with Quicken spell are nasty. Specialists only get worse from there.
7. Bards. Got a character slot that your party is missing? Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard? A Bard can fill that slot. Flexible.
8. Rogues. Two words: Sneak Attack. Flanking. Tumble. Hide. Move Silently. Alright, it was seven words, but the rogue is the master of getting around while not being noticed, and then stabbing you in the back later.
9. Barbarians. Big. Nasty. d12 HP. Rage. DR. Dumber than a dirt golem in a rainstorm.
10. Druids. Nothing really against them, but nothing really for them, either. Someone has to go in the next-to-last spot.
11. Monks. Never liked the concept or the execution. It might have to do with the fact that monks were all that a guy in my last group would play. Ever. Ever seen a centaur monk? Wasn't pretty.
 

smetzger

Explorer
PA said:

4) They don't need to rest for 8 hours before preparing their spells.

Although they don't need to rest 3.5 now requires them to _not_ cast any spells in the last 8 hrs in order for them to receive the full acutrement.
 

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